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Could it be done?

Old 04-26-11, 08:34 PM
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Could it be done?

Okay, this deserves its own thread. I need a new bike. I'm going to sell the Panasonic (more on to whom if all pans out, but you all know him), as my body just refuses to like a road bike. The Panasonic deserves someone who will ride it like he/she stole it, not someone who winces at the thought of it.

So... the Raleigh moves steadily toward biking perfection. Right now, it's getting new aluminum wheels and the gearing is being lowered. No doubt it will rock the casbah once it's complete in... two LONG weeks. But it isn't the perfect bike for everything. It will still be old and slow and stately. I love it, but sometimes I like a bit more zip.

I have fallen in love with this bike:
https://cremecycles.com/caferacer_lady_doppio_pearl.html

I can have it delivered to my door for just under $800. It would be, theoretically, lighter, faster and more versatile than the Raleigh, but of course, it won't be the Raleigh. Two bikes is good, no problem there.

Some of you braggarts have suggested that I can "make" a gorgeous mixte for much less, with patience and your help. So gentlemen (and ladies), let's put our money where our mouths are, shall we?

I ride a 21" Raleigh Sports. The new bike would have to be a similar size. I desire:
-- mixte frame, any year, but in nice condition. I have one bike with serious patina. I want upright, but a bit speedy.
-- more speeds. Like 7 or 8. Internally geared hub. No derailleurs, as I don't like messing with them. I want a hub like my SA 3-speed, but with more speeds.
-- aluminum wheels and reliable braking
-- fenders, rack (front or rear or both, don't care), dynohub or bottle dyno lighting (don't have a preference), chainguard, the WORKS
-- don't care on tire size, or wheel size.

It needs to ride nicely, be pretty, and haul whatever I want it to haul up substantial hills. I'm not touring, though I like to take long weekend rides. I ride at a leisurely pace even on a racing bike.

Can this be done for under $800? Are you sure? I hear a lot of: "This is easy," but I don't have a garage full of parts. I don't have a mechanic to assemble it. I have already plunked at least $500 into my Sports, what with new saddle, wheels, grips, etc. I can easily see spending way more on something that needs more work.

That Bottecchia Mixte that Henry III is selling for $75, assuming it's still available, would be a lovely starting point. Show me the money! Part this out and convince me!

Otherwise... <holding wallet in a threatening way> I'm going for NEW!
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Old 04-26-11, 08:50 PM
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Do-able. My friend built a brand new Soma Mixte with internal 7 with all new parts (only some were QBP-ed) for $1000. You can get well under $800 if you get a lot of the parts used. The most expensive part will be the wheels.

I've got one of these with your name on it: https://www.modernbike.com/itemgroup....177777&TID=367
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Old 04-26-11, 09:06 PM
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There's a mixte or two round here for cheap-er. I got mine for 25 dollars, fenders and bars at a local bike guy for 7 dollars. Needs a repaint, and it will be up on the road for around 200. Hope my gf likes it!
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Old 04-26-11, 09:15 PM
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If you can't do any of the work yourself (but you probably could...is there a co-op near you?) then it most likely can not be done for less than $800

Mixte frameset: $75
Shimano Nexus 8 wheelset: $300
Tires/tubes: $90
Handlebars: 15-35 (used)
Brakes: $15-45 (used)
Crankset: $15-45 (used)
BB: $20
cable kit: $35
tape: $15
stem: $5-25 (used)
seatpost: $5-25 (used)
saddle $25-250
chain: $15-25
fenders: $35-125
headset: $20 (tange levin)
brake levers: $5-25 (used-new)

That's a range of $690-1155 and does not include any labor. Note that you could score a decent mixte and get the frameset/headset/BB/crankset/brakes and save another $70-130...maybe even stem/post/bars for a little more. It really depends on how much you would like to personalize it...

My 2c.
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Old 04-26-11, 09:24 PM
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The CremeCycle looks pretty sweet. Is there one in town that you can try? I'd want a test drive if I were gonna spend that much.
I've been known to spend lots of time and money building a bike that's perfect on paper only to decide it doesn't ride quite the way I'd hoped.
When I decided to step up from my Sports I found the Raleigh Supercourse was just what I wanted. Those come in mixte. I don't know if the mixte has what I love about mine. I'd build one up just to find out, though. It's in the frame geometry. When I figure it out I'll let you know.
Sorry, I don't have any numbers for you. I've got well over $50 into the SC at this point but there were a few donor bikes involved and it doesn't have one of those new fangled IGHs.
Um, what does fangled mean?
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Old 04-26-11, 09:29 PM
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If you do all the work yourself, you can build this Soma mixte for about $1200. I just finished this for my wife:


Velouria just reviewed it on her blog.

I've since added a VO porteur chaincase:


I think it fits just about all your criteria, except for dyno lighting.
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Old 04-26-11, 10:10 PM
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Please define "substantial hills". I can't see a loaded mixte with an internal hub hauling cargo up a substantial hill - at least by my definition of a "substantial hill".
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Old 04-26-11, 10:15 PM
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Southpawboston, that is one lovely bike. I saw it here, and on Veloria's site.

But here's the kicker to all of this: I can't do the work myself. I mean, I can put wheels on a frame. I can put a new stem on, or add grips or stuff like that. But the pain/lack of torque-ing ability in my hands means NO real wrenching. I won't do it to my body. It just isn't worth the possiblity of a disconnected finger (they pop out with no real cause. It's part of the same reason my neck hurts when I ride the Panasonic).

There is no Creme distributor in the US. I would be ordering sight-unseen. I just haven't seen a deal like that, with those components, for less than $1000. I suspect the price on those will eventually go up, once they get US distributors. That bike is cro-moly, machine-lugged, kitted out with nearly everything I could want. I figure I could try a mixte build and dig myself into a $1000 hole, fast, just to get it to where the Creme already is.

But I likes me some vintage steel, yes I do.
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Old 04-26-11, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bigbossman
Please define "substantial hills". I can't see a loaded mixte with an internal hub hauling cargo up a substantial hill - at least by my definition of a "substantial hill".
I'm fairly certain our definitions are different, remembering the thigh thread and your picture there (I will never, ever forget that thread, for so many reasons). I just mean: can I haul groceries up the mile-long moderate grade near my house. Currently, I can easily pedal the Panasonic up it, but not the Raleigh. The Panasonic, however, does not DO groceries <insert snotty sniff from bike>. The Raleigh does not DO hills, at all. With lowered gearing, it would do that hill, if I stood up and pumped and nearly killed myself. I want a bike I don't have to stand up and pump.

But am I climbing over 3000 feet on Snoqualmie Pass? No. Will I ever do that, on any bike? No. So that's what I mean by substantial. Like, neighborhood-substantial.
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Old 04-26-11, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by snarkypup
I'm fairly certain our definitions are different, remembering the thigh thread and your picture there (I will never, ever forget that thread, for so many reasons). I just mean: can I haul groceries up the mile-long moderate grade near my house. Currently, I can easily pedal the Panasonic up it, but not the Raleigh. The Panasonic, however, does not DO groceries <insert snotty sniff from bike>. The Raleigh does not DO hills, at all. With lowered gearing, it would do that hill, if I stood up and pumped and nearly killed myself. I want a bike I don't have to stand up and pump.

But am I climbing over 3000 feet on Snoqualmie Pass? No. Will I ever do that, on any bike? No. So that's what I mean by substantial. Like, neighborhood-substantial.
Then what you seek is eminently build-able.... but not by you, given your stated skills/abilities. Which means that you either need to find and buy a satisfactorily fitted bike, or else buy/specify the parts you want and commission a custom build. That will cost you a lot more than the $800 for the cremecycle you posted about.

Also - it's nice to be singularly remembered.... even for something "suspect"
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Old 04-26-11, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by snarkypup
I'm fairly certain our definitions are different, remembering the thigh thread and your picture there (I will never, ever forget that thread, for so many reasons). I just mean: can I haul groceries up the mile-long moderate grade near my house. Currently, I can easily pedal the Panasonic up it, but not the Raleigh. The Panasonic, however, does not DO groceries <insert snotty sniff from bike>. The Raleigh does not DO hills, at all. With lowered gearing, it would do that hill, if I stood up and pumped and nearly killed myself. I want a bike I don't have to stand up and pump.


But am I climbing over 3000 feet on Snoqualmie Pass? No. Will I ever do that, on any bike? No. So that's what I mean by substantial. Like, neighborhood-substantial.
Did this thing get locked or something? Where was I for this?
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Old 04-26-11, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by snarkypup
I'm fairly certain our definitions are different, remembering the thigh thread and your picture there (I will never, ever forget that thread, for so many reasons). I just mean: can I haul groceries up the mile-long moderate grade near my house. Currently, I can easily pedal the Panasonic up it, but not the Raleigh. The Panasonic, however, does not DO groceries <insert snotty sniff from bike>. The Raleigh does not DO hills, at all. With lowered gearing, it would do that hill, if I stood up and pumped and nearly killed myself. I want a bike I don't have to stand up and pump.

But am I climbing over 3000 feet on Snoqualmie Pass? No. Will I ever do that, on any bike? No. So that's what I mean by substantial. Like, neighborhood-substantial.
I don't know what they are talking about in regards to IGH not good for hills. If you have the right gear ratio a 7 or 8 speed internal is just fine, even for the Snoqualmie pass! No you won't be racing Lance with it but you can do anything you want really. My b/f's touring bike has the Alfine and he has taken it up every grade you can imagine, loaded with 40 lbs of gear (I posted a pic on your other thread). I really think that unless you have a good friend around to help you just buy the Creme with a 7 speed nexus hub.
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Old 04-26-11, 11:22 PM
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I feel like I'm having multiple phone conversations at once .

Yes on the 7-speed. I've heard decent things about their climbing ability. It's not a triple, but I don't need to go up superduper hills, anyway. My disease (again with this thing ) has lowered my lung capacity. I can climb hills, very slowly, but I don't generally elect to do so if they are very steep.
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Old 04-27-11, 05:35 AM
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Snarky (and C&Vers around Seattle),

Can anyone lend you a hand on a build? If you found the gear, helping you build your dream bike and getting it rolling would be a fun project.

As OldFatGuy suggested, finding a CL or yard sale bike with a Nexus 8 speed IGH and a front wheel will save $$ when it comes to the entire cost of the project.

What will you do if you order the Creme from Canada and can't make it fit or comfortable?

Best of luck.
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Old 04-27-11, 07:31 AM
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I think you could find a Raleigh Super Course Mixte in ready to ride condition for under $300 and have a 4 to 8 speed internal hub installed for less than $800 total expenditure.
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Old 04-27-11, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by bigbossman
Please define "substantial hills". I can't see a loaded mixte with an internal hub hauling cargo up a substantial hill - at least by my definition of a "substantial hill".
BBM, the mixte I built for my wife has a low gear of about 29 inches, more than adequate to pull our trailercycle and our 45lb daughter up a very steep hill to our house. It was specifically designed around an IGH. If we wanted, we could lower the gearing down even further, at the expense of the top end (300% range on this hub).

Originally Posted by snarkypup
I can't do the work myself. I mean, I can put wheels on a frame. I can put a new stem on, or add grips or stuff like that. But the pain/lack of torque-ing ability in my hands means NO real wrenching. I won't do it to my body. It just isn't worth the possiblity of a disconnected finger (they pop out with no real cause. It's part of the same reason my neck hurts when I ride the Panasonic).
Velouria had a good point about this when we were discussing what the bike cost me to build. She pointed out that most bike shops won't charge much to build up a bike. Partly because they are profiting on all the parts used to build up the bike. For example, I spent at least $400 on VO parts for this bike (on sale-- retail would have been $500). If a bike shop orders VO parts at wholesale, they're going to profit about $200 on those parts alone. I think if you took the build list to a few different bike shops and asked told them you wanted to drop $1200 in their shop, they'd seriously consider making it happen. Of course, the build quality might not quite match ;-).

Oh, and do you have a connective tissue disorder? I have one, and my shoulder and hip joints can pop out of their sockets at will. Seriously. I used to think it was cool to be "double jointed" until I started getting joint pain as an adult. Although, despite joint pain, it is pretty cool to be this flexible at 42 .

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Old 04-27-11, 08:15 AM
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Since I'm one of the braggarts I should probably pipe up

I think 800 is not enough to start with the assumption that you're gonna start with a bare Frame and Fork but I do think though that you can do this for that much or a little less if you start with a complete or nearly complete C&V mixte for 200, and assume you're gonna buy a nexus 8 wheelset for 300 bux.

I guess what I'm saying is cost wise I think its a wash, and if the Creme has got you all hot and bothered you might as well get what's gonna scratch that itch.

One consideration I noticed... the Creme you linked to shows that it comes with a Nexus 7 speed IGH. I've got a nexus 7 and its good, but not sturmey archer quality. From what I've read the Nexus 8 "red band" is a different animal inside and is a much better unit. I haven't tried one yet, but I'd like to add one to the mix. All i'm getting at is that its not really apples to apples comparison between the two hubs....the difference is more than just 1 more gear....from what I've heard.
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Old 04-27-11, 08:31 AM
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Sorry to hear your road bike experiment didn't work out!

I was looking at the Creme you linked to and reviewing the specs, I noticed that the front hub was a JoyTech. My wife has a Specialized Crossroads that I bought for her back in the mid '90s. She doesn't ride much, but had been complaining about it so I took a look at it. Spinning the front wheel, it was painfully rough, so I took it apart and replaced the axle/cones/bearings. One cone had started to disintegrate. JoyTech... doesn't exactly describe my feelings at that moment

It is still somewhat rough (races looked OK, but appeared to not have been great new), and would not adjust to smooth but no play, so I had to choose the smooth and loose. I thought I had seen crappy hubs in the '70s, but this one took the cake. I realize they (probably) make different models, but one thing I won't tolerate on my bike is crap hubs.
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Old 04-27-11, 08:36 AM
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I agree with ZB and Southpaw. I don't think $800 is going to do it. Anton is right that a good LBS won't charge you much (maybe nothing) to build up the bike for you if they supply it all. That's not going to be the case if you bring them all of the parts in a box. My LBS has done custom VO and Rivendell builds to customer specs and if you don't have a good LBS local to you I can think of several that will build the bike to your specs and ship it to you. That'll just require a little bit of time and a friend to help assemble.
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Old 04-27-11, 08:47 AM
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buy new and be done with it.
the Creme looks sharp.
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Old 04-27-11, 09:16 AM
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Hmmm... so the consensus so far is that... there's no consensus. This doesn't really surprise me. I mean, I know I have to make the final decision here.

The thing about buying a mixte on CL and changing it around is that I don’t even know enough about bikes to feel comfortable with that. Will any mixte frame take an IGH? That's the biggest change I'd be making to the average frame, I think, so that's my biggest concern going that way.

And yes, southpaw, I do have a connective tissue disorder. Mine is Benign Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, which sounds like no big deal but it’s the absolute bane of my existence right now. Especially as I’m on a trial of new sleep meds (sleep disruptance being one the big issues with this disease) and I keep typing letters backwards from grogginess and brain fry. I did manage, after three years of trying, to get in to see a specialist recently, so that helps. There’s only one guy in the US who specializes in this disease, and though he was retired, he agreed to see me. Fortunately, he’s only a few miles from my house. Unfortunately, I’m one of those lucky individuals who gets all the pain and exhaustion and illness of these diseases without much hypermobility. I mean, I’m hypermobile, but not so that anyone would really notice. Until my finger pops out of joint, like it did this weekend, while I was gardening. Just pulling weeds, minding my own business and… huh, my left index finger is completely numb… <pull off gardening glove> … Oh, the knuckle is purple. That would explain things. Sigh.
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Old 04-27-11, 09:28 AM
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The Creme looks nice. I don't remember any reviews and I don't know anything about Vietnamese frame builders, but there's no reason why they can't produce a nice bike, and there is the finishing in, I think, Poland. Is that $800 after shipping?
If the Creme is as nice as it looks, I don't think it can be matched by a scratch build ... but, as several people have pointed out, good older mixte bikes show up from time to time. Some need little more than a new rear wheel, a tuneup and your choice of saddle and pedals. Sometimes a tuneup and partial update has already been done, for example https://madison.craigslist.org/bik/2348424775.html
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Old 04-27-11, 09:34 AM
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So, what if I got something like this bike:
https://cgi.ebay.com/1975s-Woman-Rale...item1c1b4bdbb6

I realize it has a derailleur, which I suppose I could live with, for now. Assumedly I could change that someday, if I liked the bike. This guy just closed this auction at $199 with no bids, so I suspect I could make an offer of $200 or so and get it. Delivered to my door for $400. I could easily turn it around here for the same price if I hated it.

Would it meet what I'm looking for? What about the rust on the headtube? I could live with the rest of the "patina" if I knew it was safe. Would it take a chainguard of some sort?

Thoughts? And yes, I realize one of you can now scoop it up. But you could do that before, so I'm not bothered if someone does. I'm more just curious. I understand that it would need a tune-up and a rack and a new saddle.

Edit: it would probably need new wheels, no? I mean, steel on that sucker, right? And I just did that one, not sure if I want to do it again.

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Old 04-27-11, 09:40 AM
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Trek Belleville $689 https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...bellevillewsd/
Try out the three speed, if you nee more gears get a 7 or 8 speed hub and have it laced up to the rim.
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Old 04-27-11, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Dynocoaster
Trek Belleville $689 https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...bellevillewsd/
Try out the three speed, if you nee more gears get a 7 or 8 speed hub and have it laced up to the rim.
Not a fan of the Belleville, I must admit. Too modern for me. At that point, I'd buy the Creme. But I know others, like Bianchigirl, lust for it.
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